More than 2,700 independent grocery retail professionals and leaders recently converged in Las Vegas for The NGA Show, the premier annual trade show and conference for the independent supermarket industry. Held Feb. 27-March 1 at CAESARS FORUM, the bustling in-person show brought together independent retailers, wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food manufacturers and service providers from across the U.S., resulting in a nearly 20% increase in attendance from previous years.
Produced by the National Grocers Association (NGA) and Clarion Events as part of its Food & Beverage Group, the 39th edition of the show, which collocated with the IGA Global Rally and Indoor Ag-Con, offered participants plentiful opportunities to network, source products and take advantage of leading-edge industry education.
“The NGA Show delivered a trifecta of education, best practices and actionable insights designed to help independent grocery operators propel their businesses into a future of growth and continued opportunity,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of NGA. “With strong retailer and wholesaler attendance, we intend to build upon the momentum of a successful show and the occasion of NGA’s 40th anniversary this year as we work toward an even more exciting conference back here in Las Vegas in 2023.”
Touting the theme “Where Grocers Look to the Future,” the show offered retailers and wholesalers an exciting and enthusiastic look into the future of retailing with exclusive new programming that included topics such as “Innovation Through the Eyes of the Independent Grocer” and “The Shopping Experience of the Future.”
“Retailers are operating in a marketplace where the shopping experience is evolving quickly based on the impact of society, technology, economics, environment and policy,” Ferrara said. “This new content challenged retailers to look at how innovation can help them continually improve for today and build new capabilities they will need tomorrow.”
On an expo floor featuring more than 200 exhibitors, retailers and wholesalers had the chance to discover products and services covering the independent grocery industry’s entire spectrum, from store design to innovative food products. New to the show floor this year was the World of Latino Cuisine pavilion, which featured a full schedule of culinary demonstrations presented by world-renowned chefs and offered retailers a front-row seat to the latest products and information on selling successfully to the growing Hispanic consumer market.
“It is important to take time away from your business to focus on your business, and The NGA Show is the perfect platform for that, from education to peer networking to product sourcing,” said Exhibitor David Henry of Card Isle. “The NGA Show has helped Card Isle confirm that our product is a fit for the needs of the independent grocer. The conversations we are having with retailers have been very productive, and we are excited to continue developing the relationships that got their start on this trade show floor.”
The show’s expanded education program offered more than 50 sessions led by more than 100 industry experts and speakers covering the most relevant topics facing food retailers today. Topics included store design, international commerce, omnichannel, artificial intelligence, inflation, data analytics, workforce development, e-commerce, demand forecasting, category trends, Hispanic marketing, food safety, succession planning, front-end technology, labor costs, digital communications, green energy and ransomware.
Special events included an opening keynote address presented by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, an opening reception, the Best Bagger Championship and After Party, the Creative Choice Awards breakfast and a closing celebration.
“What an exciting three days!” exclaimed Cruz Alvarado, Clarion Events event director of The NGA Show. “We’ve already received such positive feedback on the content in the education sessions, the top-level thought leaders from across the industry who shared insightful ideas, and the opportunity to source new products, which all delivered solutions and ideas on how grocers can grow their business and better serve their communities.”
The 2023 NGA Show will return to CAESARS FORUM Feb. 26–28, 2023.
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